Protein Muddy Buddies
Published Dec 18, 2018, Updated Jan 18, 2022
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A lightened up version of muddy buddies with an added protein boost! Gluten-free, dairy-free with a low-sugar option as well.
Muddy Buddies, Puppy Chow, Trash… it goes by many names, but no matter what you call it – it’s a delicious and highly addictive sugary treat!
It’s also not a health food.
I’m all about indulging, especially around the holidays, but I find it fun to make recipes a little healthier so I tweaked the classic recipes for muddy buddies that I grew up with as a kid. The EBF version has fewer calories and more protein than the traditional blend, but it tastes just as good! One 1/2 cup serving has 4 grams of protein, but if you’re looking for even more protein, you can add more protein powder than powdered sugar. I was making this mix as a gift and didn’t want the protein powder flavor to be too overwhelming so I decided to roll with 1/4 cup.
Here’s What You Need
- Rice Chex or Corn Chex – traditionally muddy buddies are made with rice or corn chex but feel free to use wahtever cereal you prefer!
- dark chocolate chips – grab dairy-free if you need it, I like to use Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels. Lily’s dark chocolate chips are not dairy-free but have less sugar.
- peanut butter – make sure you use peanut butter with no added sugar, just peanuts and salt!
- coconut oil – you’ll use coconut oil to help the chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar stick to the cereal.
- powdered sugar – if you’d like these to be lower in sugar you can use powdered erythritol like Swerve instead.
- vanilla protein powder – I like to use Nuzest vanilla protein powder, but use your favorite brand!
How to Make Protein Muddy Buddies
Cereal – Measure the cereal and place it in a large bowl, set aside.
Prep dry ingredients – Next, pour powdered sugar or powdered erythritol and protein powder into a 2-gallon resealable zip-lock bag.
Melt – In a saucepan over low-medium heat add peanut butter, chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir continuously until chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth.
Coat cereal – Then carefully pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and toss until evenly coated. Carefully pour the coated cereal mixture into the bag with powdered sugar and protein powder. Seal the bag and shake until well coated.
Serve – Spread the muddy buddies onto parchment paper to cool completely. Make sure you let it cool for a while before putting it in a container, otherwise your mix will get soggy! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Tip! Keeping it in the fridge will keep it fresh and crunchy!
Tips and Substitutions
Note about using powdered peanut butter:
When I first created this recipe I used powdered peanut butter mixed with water instead of regular peanut butter to keep the protein high and fat content lower. This option works, but the water in the mixture kind of makes the chocolate seize a little and the chocolate mixture becomes more like a paste instead of a drippy chocolate sauce. This makes it harder to coat the cereal. That said, I’ve made it several times using this method and it still works, you just have to toss the cereal with the chocolate mixture a bit more to get a good coating.
Note about using powdered erythritol:
If you want to make this recipe lower in sugar, you can use powdered erythritol. I tried the recipe with Swerve confectioners sugar and it worked great BUT sugar alcohols give me really bad gas (TMI, I know…). That said, I personally would much rather make this with regular powdered sugar, however if your tummy can tolerate erythritol it’s a great way to decrease the sugar content!
Make a batch to take to your next holiday party or portion into cute containers and give it away as gifts. Or keep it around the house – but I will warn you, it’s easy to eat a whole batch of it in a day. Not that happened to me or anything. 😉
More Protein Snack Ideas
More Healthy Snack Ideas
- Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Trail Mix
- Chunky Monkey Trail Mix
- Rosemary Candied Pecans
- Chocolate Covered Frozen Raspberries
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites
Looking for more healthy snacks? Be sure to check out all my popular snack recipes here.
Protein Muddy Buddies
- 6 cups Rice or Corn Chex
- ⅔ cup dark chocolate chips dairy-free if needed*
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter*
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- ¾ cup powdered sugar or powdered erythritol*
- ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
- Measure cereal and place in a large bowl, set aside.
- Pour powered sugar or powdered erythritol and protein powder into 2-gallon resealable zip-lock bag.
- In a saucepan over low-medium heat add peanut butter, chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir continuously until chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and toss until evenly coated.
- Carefully pour coated cereal mixture into the bag with the powdered sugar and protein powder. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on parchment paper to cool completely. Make sure you let it cool for a while before putting it in a container, otherwise your mix will get soggy.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Keeping it in the fridge will keep it fresh and crunchy!
- Chex is the traditional cereal used for Muddy Buddies, but you can always try different cereal options!
- If you prefer to use powdered peanut butter for lower fat content, mix 1/4 cup powered peanut butter (like PB2) with 2 Tablespoons almond milk or water and 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter. Use this instead of the 1/3 cup peanut butter.
- For dairy-free chocolate chips, I like using Enjoy Life or SunSpire!
- Powdered erythritol makes this lower in sugar. I’ve used Swerve and it worked great.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Clever idea – thanks for sharing!!
Rebecca | http://www.peppermintdolly.com
I’m trying to wean myself off Christmas cookies and I was craving something sweet. This is so good and quick! I used a little less sugar because Im using peanut butter protein powder and it’s already pretty sweet. I needed a little more than the recipe called for, but no biggie. My boyfriend has already had some and he approves (and he’s not worried about sugar content or protein benefits at all, so I’m sure this is kid friendly)!
Woo-hoo!! So glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating, Missy. It means the world to me. <3
Just made these and they were a HIT among my family. They were the perfect quick and tasty treat. And the protein powder is undetectable!
Yay!! I’m so glad this recipe was a hit with your family, Lily. I so appreciate you trying my recipe and coming back to leave a comment + star rating!!
Is there a way to make this without coconut oil? I am allergic to coconuts
Totally! I’d use butter instead of the coconut oil.
Thank thr Lord you called them Muddy Buddies and not “puppy chow”. 🙄 Haha! Anyway, SUPER excited to try this!
Enjoy! I hope you love these!
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